B & K Structures creates Earth-Sheltered Home for Peppa Pig

An indoor play area, shop and café is being constructed as part of the brand new Peppa Pig World at one of the UK’s premier destinations for families with young children.  The building’s structure is mainly glue-laminated timber, which has been designed, manufactured and erected by B & K Structures.

The specialist provider of engineered timber solutions to a number of construction sectors was contracted directly to the owners of Paultons Family Theme Park – located on the edge of the New Forest National Park in Hampshire – to help create, what is probably the world’s first ever children’s entertainment environment linked to the hugely popular TV character.

B & K Structures worked in close co-operation with the project architects, HPW Partnership and project engineers, Wedgwood Associates, while Knightwood Developments filled the role of project manager.

Pivotal to the success of the design was finding a structural solution, which would not only offer large, open internal spaces and carry the considerable loads of a green roof, but also provide the desired aesthetics to meet the brief from Paultons and E1 Entertainment; the company which licenses the Peppa Pig brand worldwide.

The Project Architect for HPW, Mr Harry Stafford explains: “As specialists in both leisure and retail, we were very conscious of the need for creating the right environment for the children using the building. The curved green roof not only alludes to the hill on which Peppa Pig and her family live in the series, but also works to mask the southern aspect of the building from nearby properties.

“Internally we chose to specify ‘soft’ materials to avoid an industrial look in the children’s play area - so a glulam structure was always in our minds.  Until we contacted B & K Structures, we were very concerned it would not be affordable. However, not only was their price the most competitive, but the company’s design service was also exceptional. The cooperation and coordination was superb.”

The outcome is a ground floor of 9,000 square feet plus two mezzanine floors for storage and public use, totaling 4,000 square feet.  This has been facilitated by B & K’s fabrication of glulam and cross-laminated members, with spans of up to 19.5 metres.

The chief engineer for Wedgwood Associates, Mr Jonathon Pugh, recounts: “The structural design was challenging in terms of supporting the green roof, but through good cooperation between the design team and B & K Structures, the most technically efficient and cost effective solution was reached.”

Richard Mancey, Managing Director of Paultons Family Theme Park, reflected: "The large building that will house the new cafe, indoor play area and ‘Peppa Pig Shop’ will fit perfectly within Peppa Pig World. We wanted something that was bespoke to Paultons and away from the usual square steel structures that often houses this sort of attraction.
The huge exposed laminated beams, the sweeping building lines, the grass roof and the stunning glazed frontage combine perfectly to give us a contemporary, and a beautiful looking, iconic structure befitting of a national attraction like Peppa Pig World."

For more information please visit www.bkts.co.uk

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